What are Employer Adoption Benefits?

Adopted and stepchildren are given the same rights as biological children according to the IRS and employers with more than 50 employees. Listed below are some of the legal benefits adoptive parents have for their adopted children. Some companies may have additional benefits. According to a 2008 Hewitt Associates study, more than half of U.S. companies offered some type of adoption benefits.  

Legal Requirements

Companies that are required to provide health insurance by law must cover adopted children and stepchildren with insurance benefits the same as biological children. These usually include companies who have more than 50 employees.

Companies who are required by law to provide Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must provide these services for adopted, foster, and stepchildren. FMLA refers to the law that allows employees who have been working for a company for at least a year to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a medical condition without losing their job. FMLA also covers spouses and parents. FMLA is usually provided by companies who employ at least 50 people. During leave, companies must allow the employee and covered family members to have access to health insurance if the employee signed up for it.

Additional Services

Some companies may have employee assistance programs where employees can ask for referrals for adoption services, including agencies and counselors. 

Many companies give financial assistance to employees for adoptions in the form of lump sums, payment of fees, and reimbursements for fees.

Many companies will give parental leave for parents of adopted children, similar to leave for the birth of a baby. This leave can be paid or unpaid. This may be a legal requirement in some states.

Financial Benefits According to the IRS

Adoption Credit and Assistance is available to families who adopt in the same year the expenses are paid.

Adoption benefits may only be available to full-time employees. To find out what your company offers, talk to your HR department.

The following website lists the top companies that are adoption-friendly: